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Friday, June 26, 2009

It's like American Idol, only not at all.

You can legitimately vote more than once in the great Canadian t-shirt contest. I'm currently in third, hint, hint.

And thanks for the votes, not so BTW.

Ding, dong the witch has pled.

Our long metropolitan nightmare has come to an end: noted embarrassment Monica Conyers pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.

Detroit city government's slow but steady return to sanity and integrity continues apace.

The chortling you've been hearing is from Ken Cockrel and Kwame Kenyatta.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am now on Twitter.

That is all.

The title is to gum up the works for the theocracy, as is the time zone.

The Twitter picture is of part of the facade of the stunning Shah Mosque (the work of the Safavid Shah Abbas back in the 17th Century) in Esfahan.

Speaking of which, the heroic work of the Tehran Bureau could use your financial assistance. Let's all put our money where our mouth is. In this fight, information is a weapon, a source of hope and a reminder to those struggling in Iran that they are not alone.

I contributed a bon mot and all I got was this cool t-shirt.

Devoted readers:

You can win me at least one, and possibly three, t-shirts by going over to Blazing Cat Fur to vote in the "Be Mean to Jennifer Lynch" contest. Ms. Lynch is Big Sister, the head of the Canadian Human Rights [sic] Commission, which has been tasked by the solons of the Dominion with salving the imagined and potential hurts of politically approved groups. Here's the problem with Ms. Lynch and the CHRC, in a fisky nutshell from Ezra Levant, her indefatigable foe and one of the great free speech heroes of our time, right up there with Nat Hentoff.

I've been following the battle reasonably closely and thought I'd offer my own contribution, which has the extra advantage of being a double entendre appropriate to the control-freak nature of the entire enterprise:

The CHRC: Only Jennifer Lynch Knows The Safe Words.

To my delight, it made the top 10 finalists. Come on--you can picture Mark Steyn using that one in a column, can't you? It has to be worth something. So, get on over there and win me a t-shirt or three.

Resign, you scumbag.

Governor Mark Sanford admits to travelling to Argentina to knock boots with his mistress.

He also used his office to lie and conceal the affair.

But here's the best part: he's a father of four, and he spent Father's Day getting jiggy.

Unbelievable. Wretched, rotten, foul, putrid--insert your decomposing adjective here.

This married father of four recommends you STFU, leave office and spend the rest of your life in penitential obscurity. The longer you spend in office, the more you make Elliott Spitzer look like a model of puritan rectitude.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quick hits on Iran.

1. The President's last statement was pretty good. But determining to press on with negotiations no matter what is not. Oh, and the "come on over for halal dogs" tactic is...how can I put it...a great, barking obscenity. Should be an interesting set of conversations. "Hey, man, nice shot. How do those Basiji do that on motorcycles, anyway?"

2. What is "realist"ic about the belief that you can negotiate binding treaties with a regime that blatantly fixes its own elections? A better description is "fantastic"--in the old meaning of the term. Or an exercise in wish-fulfillment.

Realism, properly understood, is the recognition that you sometimes have to settle for the lesser of two evils.

3. By the way, you'll never avoid charges of outside interference with people who see British conspiracies in their falafel.

4. Her name was Neda, which means "voice" in Farsi. It's a pretty name, and her life had just started, with a marriage in the offing.



She deserved better than a horrific death at the hands of tyrants.

5. We need no more submissions: Our Shameless Narcissist of 2009 Award goes to Maureen Fiedler at the National Catholic [sic] Reporter. Here's a hint, Maureen: the fact the Swiss Guard didn't spray you with bullets or take runs at you with motorcycles and clubs just might be a hint from the Clue Lumbermill that your analogy sucks like a black hole. It's not all about you. Really.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Debate."

This is not a "debate," spokesflunky. Nor is this (content warning). [By the way, Esfahan is one of my favorite cities in the world. I'll show you why sometime in the next few days.]

"Realist" foreign policy: making everyone feel grimy and ashamed since 1945.

I can't do a whole lot more, so enjoy the new color scheme.

Two men detained with 134 billion--with a "b"--in U.S. bonds stashed in a suitcase.

Details are thin, but deeply worrisome. The Fourth Estate hits the snooze bar again.

The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale.

The trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. will issue in the next couple of years needs buyers. Attracting them will require making sure that existing ones aren’t losing faith in the U.S.’s ability to control the dollar.

The dollar is, for better or worse, the core of our world economy and it’s best to keep it stable. News that’s more fitting for international spy novels than the financial pages won’t help that effort. It is incumbent upon the U.S. Treasury to get to the bottom of this tale and keep markets informed.

Think about it: These two guys were carrying the gross domestic product of New Zealand or enough for three Beijing Olympics. If economies were for sale, the men could buy Slovakia and Croatia and have plenty left over for Mongolia or Cambodia. Yes, they could have built vacation homes amidst Genghis Khan’s Gobi Desert or the famed Temples of Angkor. Bernard Madoff who?

These men carrying bonds concealed in the bottom of their luggage also would be the fourth-largest U.S. creditors. It makes you wonder if some of the time Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spends keeping the Chinese and Japanese invested in dollars should be devoted to well-financed men crossing the Italian-Swiss border.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No, really--go ahead and play through.

Plane lands on 5th hole of Michigan golf course.

Probably a beta test for Extreme Polo!, coming soon to The Ocho.

A Detroit future?



[Graphic created by the Free Press. Click to enlarge.]

I find the urban village idea really intriguing.

The committee suggests that Detroit could recreate itself as a 21st-Century version of the English countryside.

"Isn't that basically what's happening? Even without any plans or strategies?" Mallach asked.

But he added, "It's happening in a sloppy, destructive fashion where you get areas that are essentially abandoned, but they're not useable open space, they're not environmentally sound, so they're basically wasteland."

Instead, the team suggests planning for that future by relocating residents out of distressed areas and concentrating new development in more vital nodes such as Midtown or Mexicantown.

Mallach and his team visited Detroit as part of a program known as SDAT, for Sustainable Design Assessment Team. The SDAT program sends teams of volunteer architects, planners and other experts to a community to help map steps toward a more sustainable future, both economically and environmentally.

The Detroit SDAT team visited the city in late 2008 and has yet to issue its final report. But its draft report has been circulating widely among local community groups and is already stirring debate about its core recommendations.

What do to with Detroit's vacant land has sparked considerable discussion lately. In one prominent idea, businessman John Hantz recently proposed using hundreds or thousands of acres of vacant land for commercial farming.

Meanwhile, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and other nonprofit groups have been working to create more greenways through Detroit's open spaces to link neighborhoods.


Forty (of 139) square miles of Detroit are currently empty. Thinking radically not only is not impractical, it is necessary.

There's a good discussion about the project, pro and con, at a Detroit online forum here.

[As an aside, this is essentially what happened to Constantinople during its last century as a Byzantine city: the once metropolis of 500,000 contracted to 50,000 people living in villages connected by roads and surrounded by ruins.]

Roll over Methuselah and tell Mahalalel the news.

Happy birthday to two of my friends today, commenter and expired blogger Bryan and commenter and largely hibernating blogger Zach.

Welcome to old. The view's ok--one of the happy side effects of weakening vision.

O brave new world.

That has fewer girls in't.

Where the "reduce the need, not the number" approach to abortion smashes into bloody reality.

And stands mute, where not actually enabling or approving.

Anybody else every see Joe Theisman's injury on Monday Night Football?

For some reason that keeps coming to mind.

Dude's got more finales than Cher or Return of the King.

Enough already.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Finally, some good news on the job front.

Commenter Ed the Roman has a new job--delighted for you, Ed!

As does my neighbor Brian, who was called back to work unexpectedly by his former employer. Which, given the unemployment rate in Michigan right now, could be used in support of a beatification cause.

Thanks for the condolences on the Wings. First, congrats to the Penguins and their fans.

Yeah, it stung/stings. Saturday, I went to my kids' recital and Sunday I helped bear a canopy in the Corpus Christi procession. Oh, and I also did some productive lawn work, gardening and grilling. Rachel and I later hunted unsuccessfully for a pink platypus Webkins. We found one, but no tag to activate it online. The quest will continue today.

In other words, life went on, as I expected it eventually would.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Game Sevens are very, very bad for my cardiovascular system.

Not to mention the colo-rectal puckering.

Yikes. Shouldn't have waited to start playing after 50 minutes, boys.

Except for Chris Osgood, who kept the game from being a laugher.

Here's a crazy idea: SHOOT THE PUCK ON NET.

The record for meaningful (conference or league championship level) game sevens in my lifetime?

2-3.

Losses: Pistons '86-87 (to Boston, Eastern Conference Finals), Pistons '88 (to LA, NBA Finals), Pistons '05 (to San Antonio, NBA finals).

Wins: Pistons (Eastern Conference Finals '89-'90, over Chicago); Red Wings '02 (over Colorado, Western Conference Finals).

Whee.

I'm going to be even less fun to be around come Friday evening.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Elizabeth is starting to kick about, ever so gently.

It was actually a source of some concern, her in-utero mellowness. Not to the doctors, who reported that all was well. Nevertheless, I definitely felt her nudge this morning. A good feeling.

I think our experiences might have been permanently skewed by Rachel, who telegraphed her personality by kicking like a meth-addled mule in a dunk tank 17 weeks into the pregnancy.

Yes, I actually felt her kick at 17 weeks.

Below is an actual ultrasound picture of Rachel in action:


She hasn't slowed down a lick since.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms onother Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.


SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower



Pointe du Hoc, where the first ground combat of D-Day took place. One of my doctors as a youth was a Ranger who stormed the place. Up the cliffs, under fire.

And many there remember and are grateful for it. We should be no less grateful. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The proper response.

Heather has a recommendation for how to respond to the assassination in Kansas: show the very best of pro-lifers this Saturday.

Here's why I liked the Front Porch article.

First, I greatly appreciate the comments from Joe Marier and Art Deco starting here, which clarify a lot and helped me think it over. Also, yes, the hyperbole helps the author not at all.

My thoughts, and they are ones that have gnawed at me and caused me to link to the essay in the first place, are related to two points:

(1) a great deal of the overall wealth is dependent on and driven by the necessity for two incomes, with all that entails (more here).

(2) The household debt explosion, which is right about at the annual GDP.

Those two factors have to be considered as well and undercut the wealth/income issues, correct?
The growth of wealth/income over the past forty years has been debt-driven in ways not seen since before the Great Depression, and puts all of it on a very shaky footing.

And the current fixes (across two administrations, it must be noted) are merely efforts to get the consumption spigot flowing again, exacerbating the underlying problems.

Unless, of course, I'm missing something.

Anyway, these are just preliminary thoughts, and I have no idea where this is going.

I think James Kirchick is going to be about as successful as King Canute here.

But I'll take it: the Religious Right Didn't Kill George Tiller.

Read every word, but here's the conclusion:

I happen to support a legal regime that would, in Bill Clinton's famous words, keep abortion safe, legal and rare. I hold no brief for the religious right, and its views on homosexuality in particular offend (and affect) me personally. But it's precisely because of my identity that I consider comparisons between so-called Christianists (who seek to limit my rights via the ballot box) and Islamic fundamentalists (who seek to limit my rights via decapitation) to be fatuous.

In the coming days, we will hear more about how mainstream conservative organizations and media personalities created an "environment" in which the murder of an abortion doctor became an inevitability. Just as talk radio was blamed for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, an attempt will be made to extend the guilt for this crime from the individual who pulled the trigger to the conservative movement writ large. But the Christian right's responsible reaction to the death of George Tiller should put to rest the lie that Judeo-Christian extremists are anywhere near as numerous or dangerous as those of the Muslim variety.



Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Where every night is Ladies' Night.

That would be our humble abode.

In October, there will be another Price girl saying hello to the world: Elizabeth Christina.

And I thought I had grey hair now.

I'll post the ultrasound later. According to the people with the sheepskins, all is well with the pregnancy.

[Update: Here she is.]


BREAKING NEWS--MUST CREDIT.

American Legion demands crackdown on "ideology of jihad":

Private William Long's slaying is the most recent in a string of murders in the service of the Islamic doctrine of jihad, and thousands of people have been injured or threatened since the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 because of the ideology of jihad. Bringing the killers to justice is not enough - the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security must root out and prosecute as domestic terrorists and violent racketeers those who support this criminal enterprise that has organized and funded these violent acts for decades. We call on the new attorney general Eric Holder and head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to treat these murders in the same way they would treat politically-motivated domestic terrorism of any other kind and put the full resources of their two departments behind that effort.

Psych.

No, class, your assignment for the week to compare and contrast the media coverage of and governmental response to the apparently religiously-motivated murders in Kansas and Ar-Kansas on Sunday and Monday.

To the extent the latter gets covered at all, take care to note who gets the broadbrush, guilt-by-association treatment, demands for introspection and reform, sympathetic coverage and story-framing, and expensive governmental security measures and sympathetic press release from the Chief Executive of the Republic.

And, no, for the record, I don't want to see Muslims get smeared and I do think the pro-life movement has to be vigilant against the fringers. I'd just like the relevant parties to make a half-assed toss at impartiality for once, instead of the usual deck-stacking, special pleading and cynical partisanship.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Assassination in Kansas.

The cold-blooded murder of abortionist George Tiller in his church in Kansas yesterday morning was a depravedly-evil act for which there is a fitting legal remedy. May justice swiftly find his murderer.

May Tiller's family and his soul find peace in the hands of God.

Later this week we can talk about the bigger picture. But for right now, that's all that needs to--or should--be said.